Q & A: Basic CNC Terminology You Should Know – Part 3 of 3

Posted April 29, 2019 11:55 am   Published by    BobCAD-CAM ">

Welcome to the final part our 3-part series about the basic CNC terminology that new users will encounter on a day-to-day basis. Let’s wrap it up with these final 21 terms machinists will be incorperating into their daily vocabulary!

What is RS-232 used for? ​


What is DNC?

Direct Numeric Control.

In BobCAD-CAM software, what are Machining Features? ​

A group of machining operations.
bobcad cnc software

What does profile mean?

​A standard 2D machining strategy that follows around the outside or inside of a part profile.

What is roughing?

​A process for removing the most amount of material before finishing toolpath is used. Removing layers of material, stepping down in the Z-Axis while cutting.

What does plunge mean? ​

To move a tool down into the material cutting with the bottom of the tool.
bobcad cnc software plunge function

What is semi-finishing?

​Generally used with complex 3D parts, a process in between roughing and finishing.

What is a cycle? ​

A complete process or sequence of processes from beginning to end.

What does bore mean?

​To make a hole in something.
bobcad cnc software boring technique

What does counter-bore mean? ​

To increase the diameter at a hole’s opening.

What is a CAM tree? ​

Where users create their lists of operations and toolpath to be performed at the machine.
2d stepover in bobcad cnc software

What does stepover mean? ​

The distance the tool moves over between cuts.

What is an equidistant offset contour toolpath?

​A finishing toolpath that maintains an exact step over for the tool regardless of the model’s complexity.
equidistant offset toolpath in bobcad cad-cam software

What does radial mean? ​

To be arranged like rays that are coming out from a common center.

What is a radial toolpath?

​A toolpath that comes out from a common center upwards, downwards, or zigzag.
bobcad radial cnc toolpath

What does spiral mean?

​To wind around a center with an increasing distance from center.

What is a spiral toolpath? ​

A finishing toolpath that has one start and one finish point and moves in a spiral formation.
bobcad cam software spiral toolpath

What is pocketing?

​A method of cutting into the surface and hollowing out a piece of material creating a pocket.

What is thread Milling? ​

A method of producing screw threads that uses a rotating tool to cut.
thread milling in bobcam cam software for solidworks

How does the arc fit option in 3 axis toolpaths help a customer?

​It reduces lines of code and it’s easier for the machine to process 1 arc line versus thousands of small line segments.

What is cycle time calculation? ​

How much time it takes to machine a single part from start to finish.

There you have it! That concludes part 3 of our 3-part introduction to CAD-CAM terminology. Now that you are armed with the right lingo, the sky is the limit in your machining endeavors!


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